Critique without ontology

In the past few years, the number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea has dramatically increased due to the strengthening of border controls and a deliberate politics of migration containment put into place by the EU in cooperation with third countries. In 2018, according to UN Refugee Agency [UNHCR] estimations, an average of six […]

Adorno and the Weather

In Beckett’s Endgame – about which Adorno wrote an important essay – nature is in ruins (‘corpsed’, as Clov describes it), yet the weather is still important.* The pathetic story that Hamm tells (and he has to bribe Nagg to listen) about a man crawling to him on his belly to ask for help on […]

The Spirit of Modernity and its Fate: Jürgen Habermas

The Spirit of Modernity and its Fate: JOrgen Habermas Nick Smith Jurgen Habennas’s ongoing opus is organised around distinctive conceptualisations of ‘modernity’, ‘crisis’, and critique’. * The Theory of Communicative Action (2 volumes, Boston, 1984 & 1987), in which these internally related concepts are articulated into a theory of rationality, was written by Habennas to […]

The Politics of Fulfilment and Transfiguration

The Politics of Fulfilment and Transfiguration J. M. Bernstein- SeylaBenhabib’ s Critique, Norm, and Utopia* is, without doubt, the most philosophically acute and learned history of the critical theory of society yet to be written. Because the intentions of Benhabib’s work are systematic rather than historical, her history is equally a major contribution to critical […]

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique: A Reply to McCarney Peter Dews and Peter Osborne The question of the possibility, form, and validity of a ‘critical’ social science, of its relation to Marxism and to the ideas of dialectic and contradiction, received considerable attention on the pages of Radical Philosophy in the late […]

Socialism and Democracy

Socialism and Democracy: Beyond State and Civil Society Roger Harris Introduction This article started life as a review of John Keane’s Public Life and Late Capitalism ..:. Towards ~ Socialist Thaor y of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1984), an Lt begins with a brief account of this important book. In the sections which follow I […]

What Makes Critical Theory Critical?

What Makes Critical Theory IC riticaI’? Joseph McCarney The toplc of this paper is the project of a critlcal theory of society. It considers that project in the form it takes in the work of its best known exponents, the theorists of the socalled ‘Frankfurt School’. The main question to be answered is the question […]

The Trouble with Contradictions

THE TROUBLE WITH CONTRADICTIONS Joe In a critical comment in Radical Philosophy 16 Russell Keat has raised some interesting objections to Ray Edgley’s account of the significance of the dialectic for social science (1). Pro.minent among them is the charge that while this account ‘succeeds in showing the critical practical function of scientific knowledge’ the […]

Science, Social Science and Socialist Science

Science, Social Science, and Socialist Science RBASON AS DIALBCTIC Roy Edgley The Q1lrrent ~risis, soc ial and Intellectual In both fields one can trace in the analytical tradition a more or less gradual relaxation of the constraints thought to be implicit in the idea of science am:. reason. In the philosophy of science Popper sought […]

The Social Function of Philosophy

THE SOOAL FUD[TIOD OF PHIOSOPHY When the words physics, chemistry, medicine, or history are mentioned in a conversation, the participants usually have something very definite in mind. Should any difference of opinion arise, we could consult an encyclopaedia or accepted textbook or turn to one or more outstanding specialists in the field in question. The […]

Gillian Rose and the project of a Critical Marxism

The work of Gillian Rose (1947–1995) displays a prodigious range equal to that of any British intellectual of her generation. Her output consists of eight books produced over a seventeen-year period between 1978 and her early death in 1995. The authorship falls into two distinct periods: a first phase, from 1978 to 1984, which includes […]

Justification or affirmation?

Christian Kerslake is perfectly right to characterize Deleuzeʼs project as ʻa philosophy of the absoluteʼ, and in particular as one conceived in more or less direct competition with that of Hegel (ʻThe Vertigo of Philosophyʼ, RP 113). He is wrong, however, to emphasize the fundamentally discontinuous evolution of this philosophy, from an early period supposedly […]

Surplus consciousness

Surplus consciousness Houellebecq’s novels of ideas Martin ryle Michel Houellebecqʼs fiction is said to be selling better outside France than that of any French novelist since Camus. Atomised (1999) and Platform (2001), his two more recent novels, appeared in English within a year of their publication. [1] The comparison some reviews have drawn with Camus […]

The reproach of abstraction

The reproach of abstraction Peter osborne This is a paper about abstraction, in particular, but by no means exclusively – and this ʻby no means exclusivelyʼ is a large part of its point – philosophical abstraction.* It is concerned at the outset with what might be called the reproach of abstraction: the commonly held view, […]

Democratic materialism and the materialist dialectic

Democratic materialism and the materialist dialectic Alain badiou Franceʼs agony was not born of the flagging reasons to believe in her: defeat, demography, industry, etc., but of the incapacity to believe in anything at all. André MalrauxWhat do we all think, today?* What do I myself think when I donʼt monitor myself? Or, rather, what […]

On Bergson’s metaphysics of time

The last two decades have seen a revival of interest in the work of Henri Bergson (1859–1941), in large part because of its role in the writings of Gilles Deleuze. However, it has been a noteworthy characteristic of the new Bergsonism (or Deleuze-Bergsonism) that it has proceeded more or less as if earlier criticisms of […]

An immanent transcendental

An immanent transcendental Foucault, Kant and critical philosophy keith robinson Every philosophy conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a hiding place, every word also a mask. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and EvilThe relation of Foucaultʼs work to philosophy remains an unsettled issue. Indeed, Foucault sometimes preferred to present himself as ʻthe masked philosopherʼ. Much like […]